BM-14

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BM-14
Stalin line - BM-14.JPG
A 140mm, 16-round launcher (BM-14) mounted on a GAZ-63 truck.
Type Multiple rocket launcher
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1952 - c.1990 (USSR)
Wars Algerian Civil War
Vietnam War
Dhofar Rebellion
War in Afghanistan
Production history
Designer NII 303
Designed 1951

The BM-14 (BM for Boyevaya Mashina, 'combat vehicle'), is a Soviet-made 140mm multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), normally mounted on a truck.

The BM-14 can fire 140mm M-14 rockets with a high-explosive fragmentation warhead, a smoke warhead or a chemical warhead. It is similar to the BM-13 "Katyusha" and was partly replaced in service by the 122mm BM-21 Grad.

Launchers were built in 16 and 17-round variants. The rockets have a maximum range of 9.8 kilometers (6.1 mi).

The weapon is not accurate as there is no guidance system, but it is extremely effective in saturation fire.

Variants[edit]

A 140mm, 16-round towed launcher (RPU-14).
  • BM-14 (8U32) - 16-round model (two rows of 8), launcher mounted on the ZiS-151 truck. Entered service in 1952. Also known as BM-14-16.
    • BM-14M (2B2) - modified model, mounted on the ZIL-157.
    • BM-14MM (2B2R) - final upgrade, mounted on the ZIL-131.
  • BM-14-17 (8U35) - 17-round (8+9 launch tubes) launcher, mounted on the GAZ-63A. Developed in 1959. This launcher was also used on naval vessels, for example Project 1204 patrol boats.
    • BM-14-17M (8U35M) - modified model, mounted on the GAZ-66.
  • RPU-14 (8U38) - towed 16-round version, based on the carriage of the 85mm gun D-44 and used by Soviet Airborne Troops, where it was replaced by the 122mm BM-21V "Grad-V".

Ammunition[edit]

The BM-14 launcher and its variants can fire 140mm rockets of the M-14-series (also called Soviet-made M14 artillery rockets). They have a minimum range of 3.8 kilometers (2.4 mi) and a maximum range of 9.8 kilometers (6.1 mi).[1] The M-14 series consist of three known types:

  • M-14-OF - an M-14 rocket with a high-explosive fragmentation warhead containing 3.68 kilograms (8.1 lb) of TNT.[2]
  • M-14-D - an M-14 rocket with a smoke warhead containing white phosphorus.[1]
  • M-14-S - an M-14 rocket with a chemical warhead containing 2.2 kilograms (4.9 lb) of sarin.[1]

Use[edit]

During the Syrian Civil War, a rocket engine from a 140 mm M-14-series rocket was identified on 26 August 2013 by the U.N. fact-finding mission in the Muadamiyat al-Sham district southwest of Damascus, allegedly originating from the chemical attack on Western Ghouta on 21 August 2013.[3]

The rockets nozzle assembly had 10 jet nozzles ordered evenly in a circle with an electrical contact plate in the middle. The bottom ring of the rocket engine had the lot number "Г ИШ 4 25 - 6 7 - 179 К" engraved,[3](pp21–22) which means it was produced in 1967 by factory 179 (Sibselmash plant in Novosibirsk).[4] However, no warhead was observed at the impact site and none of the 13 environmental samples taken in the Western Ghouta area tested positive for sarin, although three had "degradation and/or by-products" possibly originating from sarin.[5](pp43–45) On 18 September, the Russian Presidential Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov commented on the U.N. missions findings. He said "these rockets were supplied to dozens of countries", but that "the Soviet Union never supplied warheads with sarin to anyone".[6] Another type of rockets was used in the Eastern Ghouta attack.[1]

Operators[edit]

Map of BM-14 operators in blue with former operators in red

Current operators[edit]

Former operators[edit]

Similar designs[edit]

  • The Type 63 130mm multiple rocket launcher (not to be confused with the towed Type 63 of 107mm) is the Chinese version of the BM-14-17. It has a slightly smaller calibre but is fitted with 19 instead of 17 launch tubes. The Type 63 MRL is based on the Nanjing NJ-230 or 230A 4x4 truck, a licence-produced version of the Soviet GAZ-63/63A.
  • The WP-8z (Polish: Wyrzutnia Pocisków rakietowych) was a Polish towed rocket launcher that was developed in 1960. The weapon was subsequently produced between 1964 and 1965. It fired the same rockets as the RPU-14 but had only 8 launch tubes. The main operator was the 6th Pomeranian Airborne Division (Polish: 6 Pomorska Dywizja Powietrzno-Desantowa).[10] with 12-18 WP-8s in its inventory.[11][12]

See also[edit]

  • BM-12 multiple rocket launcher
  • Katyusha World War II multiple rocket launchers (BM-13, BM-8, and BM-31)
  • M16 (rocket), U.S. 4.5 inch multiple rocket launcher
  • BM-21 Grad 122 mm multiple rocket launcher
  • BM-27 Uragan 220 mm multiple rocket launcher

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Jamie Prenatt and Adam Hook, Katyusha – Russian Multiple Rocket Launchers 1941–Present, New Vanguard 235, Osprey Publishing Ltd, Oxford 2016. ISBN 978 1 4728 1086 1